State & Region Briefs

Friday, December 15, 2017
Ex-cop who sought nude pictures of kids gets 5 years

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A former Massachusetts police sergeant who posted ads online asking people to send him nude pictures of their daughters has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Former Attleboro officer Richard Woodhead was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Providence after pleading guilty in August to attempted receipt of child pornography.

Prosecutors say a Rhode Island State Police detective noticed the ads last January and posed as an 8-year-old girl’s guardian in order to engage in email conversations with Woodhead, during which he requested photos and described sexual relations he wanted to have with the child. He had similar telephone conversations with an undercover Homeland Security Investigations agent.

Woodhead’s lawyer called the conversations “lurid sexual fantasies.”

Woodhead retired after police and federal agents raided his home in April.

City councilors get death threats in text messages

FALL RIVER — Police are investigating threatening text messages sent to three members of a Massachusetts city council.

Fall River Councilors Pam Laliberte-Lebeau, Cliff Ponte and Richard Cabeceiras received the messages around 8 p.m. Tuesday. All three members serve on the council’s public safety committee.

Laliberte-Lebeau says the sender claimed her ex-boyfriend and brother would beat the councilors to death. The councilor says he is unfamiliar with the names of the two men the sender included in the text.

One of the two men contacted the newspaper, saying he is being harassed by an ex-girlfriend. He says he has been in contact with Fall River police.

1 person dead in Oxford house fire

OXFORD — Authorities confirm that one person has died in a house fire in Oxford.

The state Fire Marshal’s office said Friday that the body of an adult was recovered from the home in Oxford.

Fire officials say a resident returned home at about 8 p.m. Thursday to find the house on fire and reported that one person may still be inside.

Firefighters searched for the other person but had to evacuate when the situation became too dangerous.

The victim’s name was not released and the cause remains under investigation.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital with an injury not believed to be serious.

In an unrelated incident, seven people were displaced from their Somerville home by a fire on Friday morning. No injuries were reported.

Prosecutor angry over murder suspect’s low bail

SPRINGFIELD — A prosecutor is expressing outrage over what he considers low bail for a murder suspect.

Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said on Thursday that the $50,000 bail granted by a judge this week to Rafael Martinez sets a “terrifying precedent.”

Martinez must wear a GPS device if he makes bail, but Gulluni still fears he will flee.

Martinez is charged with murder in connection with the October 2016 shooting of Eddie Olivo in Springfield.

Prosecutors say the men knew each other and the shooting stemmed from a dispute over $30,000 that Martinez owed Olivo’s girlfriend.

The victim was shot seven times in his vehicle in the driveway of Martinez’s home.

Martinez’s lawyer says Olivo was armed and surveillance video shows the shooting was clearly self-defense.

Kidnapping gang member gets 11-year sentence

BOSTON — Another member of a Massachusetts-based gang that kidnapped drug dealers and others then demanded high cash ransoms has been sentenced.

Federal prosecutors say 27-year-old Luis Reynoso, of Lawrence, was sentenced this week to 11 years in prison and three years of probation. He pleaded guilty in August 2015 to conspiracy to commit kidnapping in connection with his role in a 2012 kidnapping.

Authorities say Reynoso was a member of a joloperros gang, which loosely translates as “stick-up guys,” that targeted drug dealers, small business owners and immigrants. Prosecutors say the gang committed or tried to commit several kidnappings.

From Associated Press